Airborne hazards in the workplace, such as dusts, gases, vapours, smoke and fumes have the potential to cause or exacerbate a range of serious respiratory disease such as: asthma, asbestosis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancers of the respiratory system (eg. mesothelioma and lung cancer).

With the list of agents of respiratory disease increasing due to improved knowledge, the constant changes in industrial processes and materials, and the long latency of many respiratory diseases; workers’ exposure must be minimised, consistently and continuously monitored.

The aim of the report is to make policy recommendations, disease prevention initiatives and recommendations for future research.

This is done by focussing on describing the percentage of workers who are exposed to dust and/or gases, vapours, smoke or fumes; the employment and demographic factors that distinguish workers exposed to the hazards; to provide a description of the types of hazards that workers with a high odds of exposure are exposed to; and to describe the employment and demographic factors that affect the provision of controls against airborne hazards in Australian workplaces.

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